A book for parents and family members of those who are far from God, Praying for Your Prodigal draws on insights from AHA to help readers pray—and hope—for their prodigal.
In this hope-filled, honest book Kyle Idleman offers stories about prodigals specifically for parents and grandparents of prodigals, as well as a series of prayers for readers to work through as they offer their prodigals to God.
- Praying for Your Prodigal by Kyle Idleman
Praying for Your Prodigal by Kyle Idleman is a book for individuals who have family members far from God. In Praying for Your Prodigal, Idleman shares stories about prodigals specifically for parents and grandparents.
Since listening to this book, I found out that Praying for Your Prodigal draws on insights from Idleman’s book, AHA: The God Moment That Changes Everything. I have not read this book, so I’m not sure if there is a lot of overlap, but I wanted to mention this in case you have read it.
I listened to the audio version of Praying for Your Prodigal and I had some trouble staying with the book. I’m not sure whether it was the way it was read. the way the book was written, or something else. I enjoyed the narrator and he was not bad to listen to, so I don’t think that was the case. I think I might have found this book more beneficial as a hard copy where I could highlight certain areas.
That said, I did find this short book to offer encouragement and hope for someone who has a prodigal. I enjoyed many of the prayers that were in the chapter as I feel it could be challenging at times to know how to pray for a prodigal, especially if you have been and you are not feeling like they are changing.
Overall, I found this title beneficial. I still think I would have preferred to read this title because I would have been able to highlight and mark certain areas of the book I wanted to reference. I also think I would have been able to get more out of the book because I did have some trouble staying connected to the audio book version.
*I received a copy of this audiobook from the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my honest review.
- Perfect for struggling parents
In my role as a youth worker, I meet a lot of desperate parents whose son or daughter has chosen to walk a destructive path. Just like the parable of the prodigal son, this child has left their family behind—often figuratively, sometimes literally. The parents are at a loss; broken with grief and hurt. I do my best to help and support them with encouragement and prayer. Now, thanks to Kyle Idleman, I have something I can send them with: a great little book called Praying for Your Prodigal.
This is book is very short. The print version is under 100 pages and the audiobook version clocks in at less than 80 minutes. It’s really the perfect size for someone who needs encouragement, not a reading assignment. And, boy is this book encouraging! If I’m not mistaken, it is derived from Idleman’s longer book entitled AHA, for the very purpose of being a salve for those experiencing the pain of watching their loved one walk away.
The book follows a formula. Each chapter opens with a letter written by a parent or grandparent to their own prodigal. Idleman notes that these are real letters written by real people. They are raw and emotional. Often there isn’t closure offered, and no pat answers are given. I found these letters heart-wrenching, but I think there could be some real comfort to be gained for a parent who is struggling.
Each chapter then continues with an episodic look at the prodigal son parable with Idleman’s own commentary. While Idleman’s journey through Jesus’ most famous parable isn’t quite as insightful and comprehensive as, say, Nouwen’s The Return of Prodigal Son, that’s not really his goal. He is drawing out basic principles and he does a good job at it.
Finally, each chapter concludes with a prayer. Like the letters, these prayers are painfully real and raw. But they also offer hope and comfort. The prodigal is now in God’s hands. And where we are weak and powerless, He is mighty and powerful to save.
I highly recommend this book for struggling parents and also as resource for pastors and leaders dealing with struggling parents. It is just the right length and price to have a few copies on hand to give out at the appropriate time, and that is exactly my plan. Kirby Heyborne does a great job narrating the audio version.
Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the Christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work.
- An Excellent Source if You're Dealing with a Prodigal
I received this book courtesy of Christian Audio for the purpose of writing a review.
If you have someone in your life that is a prodigal, this book is absolutely for you. While short, it is full of the consolation you need to continue to pray your prodigal back to God. It's packed full of the things that Idleman shares so well: testimonies, Bible passages to back up his words, cultural research to understand the passages more fully, and prayers for you to engage your prodigal in every chapter.
While the topic of this book is good for everyone, I'm not entirely sure you will enjoy reading it unless you are specifically dealing with this issue. If you're not engaged with a prodigal, this book is somewhat repetitious and fairly basic. But if you are engaged, it should operate well as a guide to help you do just as the title implies.
While this book is full of stories to illustrate points, there were really only 2 times that they caught my attention—the most attention-grabbing story being the one that took up the bulk of chapter 9.
Having heard Idleman's book "Not a Fan," read in his own voice, I am saddened that he did not also narrate this one. While the narrator's voice is fine and easily understood, some of Idleman's statements sounded a bit cheesy when desperation was added into the reading.
Despite my 3 star review, I think this book is an excellent source for anyone dealing with this issue. I suggest you take this short book slow and allow it to grow you in your prayer life over time rather than read it in one sitting.
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- Help For Desperate Parents
Praying for Your Prodigal by Kyle Idleman is a very short book focused on providing help, guidance and hope for parents who have children currently far from God. It uses the same ideas as was covered in his brilliant book, AHA, to focus on how God can intervene in their lives even when they seem so far away from God.
The principles of Awakening, Honesty and Action are covered in relation to parents of children far from God and about how they can help their children in returning to their loving Heavenly Father. The parts of the book that are really great are the letters from parents who have prodigal children as well as the prayers at the end of each chapter. They feel so heartfelt and honest with love behind each and every word with a desire to see their children come back to a relationship with God.
Personally, I loved AHA and listening to this very small and specific adaptation of that book is not as enjoyable but if I had a prodigal child then it might become a lot more valuable. It has some good information contained within its pages but it was too short to make a lasting impression. I highly recommend AHA though, which contains similar information but more fleshed out with a lot of stories and examples.
The narrator was quite good, it wasn't the author reading it but I thought the narrator did a great job of conveying the heart of the book. It felt very loving and filled with compassion for those parents with prodigals but also for the prodigals themselves.
This book would be a great book for parents who have prodigal children or even for the prodigals themselves to see the true heart of their Heavenly Father as well as their loving Christian family.
This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at christianaudio.com.
- Short, yet encouraging
I received this book courtesy of Christian Audio for the purpose of writing a review.
Narrator Thoughts ~ He had a rich and deep voice that brought this book to life. It almost felt like the author himself was reading it. The book was read with such tenderness and passion.
Book Thoughts ~ This short, yet wonderful book was so helpful to me. Even though I'm not waiting for a prodigal I found this book extremely encouraging. The letters from parents of real prodigals at the beginning of each chapter gave a touch of realism and hope. Kyles thoughts and musings inspired me. His honest and gentle style is encouraging. At the end of each chapter there is a prayer, each one is beautiful and honest.
That's one of the things I liked most about this book. Kyle was honest about pain, the hope that we have, what we can do, and letting God take care of our prodical.
I would highly recommend this book.
- A great devotional, supplement, or retreat study for all readers
This review, by Dr. Nicholson, has been provided courtesy of Desert Bible Institute
Praying for Your Prodigal is a short supplementary work that Kyle Idleman wrote to elaborate on his outstanding book Aha. While Idleman does an excellenct job of developing his first book, Aha, he adds some valuable insights that address an issues that troubles a number of Christian parents, "What can I do for my child who has fallen astray?"
Idleman starts the book with a short introduction that explains the concept that he refers to as "Aha".This introduction will prove helpful to those who haven't read his earlier work. This section is brief but will provide a recap of the foundational issues that he is going to address in this supplementary work. The great advantage to this is that this work can function as a standalone work without reading the earlier work. Ideally of course, the reader will get the most out of this book if they have read both works in order.
The structure of this book is one of its most appealing qualities. Each chapter starts with a letter or a story. These are written in the first-person and show the various kinds of prodigals and their situations. They provide for the reader both a direct application and clear, understandable illustrations of what it means to be a prodigal. The body of each chapter is written in a strong, clear manner that will be both accessible and relevant to all levels of readers Additionally, Idleman uses a rich array of scripture in a way that is both in context and applicable to the topic at hand. He does this in a comfortable, narrative style that makes the message more accessible and applicable. Idleman ends each chapter of this book with a prayer for the kind of prodigal or the situation that a prodigal might be going through. These prayers provide an excellent opportunity for reflection. Not only does this chance to stop and reflect in prayer proves more effective than a summary ever could, but also gives parents the words to serve as a starting place to express to our Lord the trials they are going through.
This book could serve a number of ministry needs. Most simply it could be a daily devotional. The combination of letters, teachings, and prayers are succinct enough that they would serve well as a quick study to start each day with and reflect on throughout. Another good use would be a retreat: women's, men's, parents, etc. It is short enough overall and compartmentalized enough in it's chapters in a way that would make it easy to cover in a 1-2 day retreat. Lastly, the book would make a good transitional home study. While it's somewhat short for a full study, this book could work well as either a transition or as a work for a first time teacher.
The only element of the book that I had mixed feeling about was that Idleman kept quoting various translations of the Bible. For instance, he will shift for the Living Bible to the NKJV, to the NSAB. The advantage to this is that it is inclusive of all the different versions that the readers might use themselves. It unfortunately also gives the impression that he is picking and choosing those translations to fit what he is trying to say rather than him saying what is actually written. I'm sure, from what I have read by Idleman, that his purpose is the former, but I think readers would get more from a single translation.
On the positive side, this is and excellent book with an awesome reader that will be an inexpensive addition to your Christian audio collection. You will be blessed for having read it either by itself or in conjunction with its predecessor Aha.
Dr. Nicholson reviews academic, Christian living, and fiction books for a variety of publishers in an array of formats. He is never paid for any of his reviews. He writes these strictly as a courtesy to his students at Desert bible Institute and for any other readers that might find his insights valuable. For more reviews or information, visit Dr. Nicholson’s blog at drtnicholson.wordpress.com.
A copy of the book was generously offered to Dr. Nicholson by christianaudio.com in exchange for this unbiased review.